The Green Sheet Online Edition
January 13, 2014 • Issue 14:01:01
A prepaid card that prioritizes giving back
Prepaid debit cards are certainly nothing new. Yet new technology and an array of innovative trendsetters in our industry are still able to make them seem new and shiny. One such instance is a new prepaid debit card poised to give people a way to exchange money — and get some in return — all without hidden fees.
The iCareCard is a Visa-branded, reloadable debit card issued by Cedar Rapids Bank and Trust. The card can be used anywhere in the world. But rather than just giving people another option for spending money, the iCareCard puts money back into the community by donating to the users' favorite charities.
From fraud to fees
"Our philosophy is manage, save, give," said Larry Kane, Chief Executive Officer of iCareCard, an ISO registered with Cedar Rapids Bank. "We want to use the iCareCard as a way to save people money and also generate money for their chosen causes."
Kane developed the card as he worked to solve check fraud for the banking business. He feels that one of the best ways to avoid fraud is to eliminate checks. But credit cards and prepaid debit cards come with fees, minimums and other regulations; they can also prove to be costly and challenging to ordinary users.
How it works
The iCareCard pays users a three-cent-per-gallon rebate on gas purchased anywhere in the United States. Users also get five cents cash back on any spending of $10 or more, and they can direct another two cents to a charity or nonprofit of their choice. iCareCard also offers a unique referral program through which consumers can earn as much as $25 per month for each referral they make.
"All this comes from our revenue, not the cardholder," Kane said. "We provide our cardholders with an opportunity to manage money, save money and provide support to their nonprofits. We want to be pushing back as much as possible and help everybody out a bit."
Following are attributes that iCareCard said distinguish its product:
- Spending limits can be set by the cardholder.
- There is a small cost to get the card; however, there are no monthly fees.
- The card comes with a checking account and routing number at a bank, so third parties can add money to the account through direct deposits.
- The iCareDirect network enables members to pay each other without using their card, avoiding expensive credit card transaction fees.
- Funds are available the same day.
- Merchants who sign up can provide rebates to customers who use the iCareCard. The rebate is divided between the customer and his or her charity of choice.
- Merchants are added to a searchable national directory.
- The card comes with a referral plan that can pay users up to $25 per month for each user they referred.
"The card has so many features that it appeals to a broad range of users, from parents to their kids to business owners," Kane said.For more information about iCareCard, please visit www.icarecard.com.
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